TCGR LOOKING FOR THREE IN A ROW
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Texas Advance Notes
Race: Firestone 550, Saturday June 9 (8:00 PM ET, NBC Sports)
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has amassed 88 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012). The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NASCAR Sprint Car Series (NSCS) for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Texas: “It’s great to be back at an oval at the Texas Motor Speedway with our Target Cars. TMS represents a great deal of INDYCAR history as oval racing and INDYCAR are synonymous. Texas is a 1.5-mile oval with 24 degrees of banking, so it provides the opportunity of close racing for 200 laps on Saturday night. Our team works on having good cars for an entire fuel run; Dario and Scott will most likely stop for service at least four times; and, matching the downforce level from twilight to the finish, will make the difference. If you can’t be with the big crowd there, hope to see you on NBC Sports Network this week.”
Off to a good start: In 25 starts at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), TCGR drivers have rolled off the grid in the top-three 10 times.
TCGR at Texas: TCGR drivers have made 25 starts at TMS, earning three wins (2002: Jeff Ward; 2008: Dixon; 2011: Franchitti), three poles, nine podiums, 13 top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes. In those 25 starts, Team Target drivers have led 698 of 5,070 laps (13.7%).
Running circles: Since 1990, Indy cars have visited oval tracks 212 times. TCGR has accumulated 45 victories, 43 poles, 162 top-fives and 264 top-10s on ovals. Out of a possible 83,340 laps for all Team Target starts on ovals, TCGR drivers have completed 73,858 laps (88.6%).
Leading the pack: In 212 visits to oval tracks since 1990, TCGR has led in 127 of those races (59.9%). Of the 43,657 laps run on ovals in that time frame, Team Target drivers have led 9,993 laps (22.8%).
Number Won: Last week’s race at Belle Isle marked another first for TCGR as Dixon and Franchitti earned back-to-back 1-2 finishes for the first time in the team history. That 1-2 finish marked the team’s 32nd double podium finish and the 15th time TCGR drivers have finished first and second.
Did you Know?: TCGR won in its first start at TMS with Jeff Ward in 2002. Ward started seventh and led just the final lap en route to victory.
Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 42, closing in on Chevrolet with 48. Lotus remains third with 24 points.
Honda at the front: Dixon has led more laps this season, 196, than any other driver, including all 60 laps at Detroit, and race-high totals of 37 laps at St. Pete and 38 at Barber. Honda-powered drivers have led 330 laps this season, which is 204 more laps than the next closest manufacturer.
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing. The application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – NSCS, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.
SCOTT DIXON AND THE NO. 9 TARGET TEAM
Dixon on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 9 Target Honda by following Dixon’s personal twitter account, @scottdixon9.
Connected: Fans can check out Dixon’s season-long blog throughout the 2012 campaign on www.Racer.com.
Detroit Recap: Dixon started the race from the pole in the No. 9 Target Honda and commanded the lead through the first round of green flag pit stops on Lap 32. While maintaining the lead, a full-course caution was called on Lap 40 for two disabled cars. A two-hour red flag was called on Lap 45 to make track repairs and the race was then shortened from 90 to 60 laps. Dixon led the restart with 13 laps to go as rain began to fall on portions of the course. Two additional cautions came out before Dixon was able to take the checkered flag for his first win in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season, leading all 60 laps of the race.
Career at Texas: Dixon looks to make his 13th start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. In his previous 12 starts, the driver of the No. 9 has accumulated one win (2008), one pole, six podiums and has led 123 laps. He has an average start and finish of seventh and 5.4, respectively. In the last five races at TMS, Dixon’s lowest finish is fourth.
Texas Twin 1: Dixon rolled off seventh and quickly moved into the top-five. After leading during green flag pit stops, the No. 9 pit crew got Dixon out of the pits ahead of Will Power and into second, behind teammate Franchitti. Dixon remained behind Franchitti for the rest of the race, finishing in second.
Texas Twin 2: Dixon started race two in 18th and wasted little time moving toward the top-10 and ultimately the top-five. By the three-quarter mark of the 114-lap event, Dixon had driven his way up to second behind eventual race winner Power. In the closing laps, Dixon maintained his top-five position and brought the No. 9 Target Honda Dallara home in second.
Oval Success: In 118 starts on oval tracks, Dixon has 17 wins, 15 poles, 46 podiums and has led 3,148 laps. His average starting position is 8.5 and his average finishing position is eighth.
In the Points: With his victory at Belle Isle, Dixon gained two spots in the IZOD IndyCar point standings. He now sits second with 206 points, -26 markers behind Power.
Keeping the streak alive: With his win and pole at Belle Isle, Dixon extends his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to eight and consecutive seasons with a pole to six.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. With his win from the pole at Belle Isle, Dixon took sole possession of 11th on the all-time wins list with 28 victories. Dixon is now tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.
DARIO FRANCHITTI AND THE NO. 10 ENERGIZER TEAM
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Energizer Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Whirlwind Week: Since Franchitti took the checkered flag in the Indianapolis 500 May 27, he has been on a non-stop media tour. The Target driver recapped his third Indianapolis 500 victory with several major news and sports outlets including; FOX & Friends, CNN, Bloomberg TV, Men’s Journal, ESPN, Jim Rome Radio, SiriusXM, MRN and a media trip to TMS. Franchitti capped off his victory tour with an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman Monday, June 4. To watch a clip of the video, click here.
CMT Awards: Franchitti served as a presenter at the Country Music Television (CMT) Music Awards which aired on CMT Wednesday, June 6. Other notable presenters included Tony Hawk, Denise Richards and Twilight star, Ashley Greene.
Detroit Recap: Franchitti started 14th in the No. 10 Suave Honda and passed four cars on the opening lap to take 10th position. On Lap 24, while trying to pass a slowing car, Franchitti clipped his left front wing on the right-rear of the slowing car. Three laps later, on Lap 27, Franchitti made his scheduled pit stop. His crew surveyed the front wing damage and decided it would not impact him finishing the event, but made adjustments to the damaged front wing. Franchitti left pit road in 15th and by Lap 37 was running eighth. After the track repairs, Franchitti restarted sixth. He passed two cars going into turn one after the restart to advance to fourth. A caution was called on Lap 47 for cars spun on the course as a light rain began to fall. On the Lap 50 restart, Franchitti gained two additional positions to take second when another caution flew on Lap 51. He restarted second on Lap 54 and followed Dixon across the finish line six laps later.
Powering the No. 10: Energizer® joins TCGR as the primary sponsor for Franchitti’s car this weekend at Texas. The No. 10 car will feature a black paint scheme, complete with the Energizer Bunny. Energizer manufactures batteries and personal care products. For more information about Energizer and their brands visit www.energizer.com.
Career at Texas: In nine starts at TMS, Franchitti has earned one win (2011), two poles, two podiums and has led 236 laps. He has an average start and finish of 7.8 and 6.7, respectively. He has led laps in five of his nine starts at the track, leading a high of 110 laps in his 2011 victory. The driver of the No. 10 has completed 1,695 of 1,712 laps run at the track in his career (99%).
Texas Twin 1: Franchitti lined-up second on the grid and put the No. 10 Huggies Honda Dallara into the lead on the first lap in turn one. He went on to lead 110 of the 114-lap event and took the checkered by 0.0527-seconds over teammate Dixon.
Texas Twin 2: Franchitti started the race 28th on a blind draw and patiently worked his way through the 30-car field. By the half-way point, Franchitti had cracked the top-15 and the top-10 by the three-quarter mark. The Huggies crew gained Franchitti three spots on their final pit stop with less than 10 laps to go, helping Franchitti come home in seventh. From green to checkered, Franchitti gained 21 positions, tying him with Marco Andretti for the most positions gained throughout the 114-lap race.
Oval Office: Franchitti has participated in 127 oval races, earning 16 victories, 12 poles, 40 podiums and leading 3,305 laps. He has an average start of eighth and an average finish of 9.5.
In the Points: After finishing second at Belle Isle, Franchitti moved up three positions in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings to fourth. He is now 176 points behind Power.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with 31 and ranks ninth on the all-time poles list with 26.